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“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

photo by kakisky

According to Marci Shimoff author of  Happy For No Reason, Americans tend to believe they will be happy if they have more material things. This, however, does not prove to be the case. She cites statistics that over the past 50 years income has increased by more than 2 1/2 times, but the happiness level of Americans has remained the same. Amazingly, over 40 % of the wealthiest American's are "less happy" than the average American.

Believe it or not, once your income level is above $12,000 a year, the amount of money you have does not alter your happiness level. So, what does?

You do. The thoughts you choose to entertain, your ability to express gratitude for what you have and your willingness to give up self-defeating ways of thinking and behaving determines how happy your are.

To be happy, you need to let go of the negative and focus on the positive. One way to do that is to examine your life and express gratitude for what you have. Won't you join me today and take tally of the wonderful things in your life that you are grateful for?

Today, I am grateful for the crystals of ice that form on the car windshield creating a feathery display of artistry. I am grateful for crisp white leaves that crunch beneath my feet, for yellow stars that bid me good morning and for cloudless skies that promise a new day.

I am grateful for lingering geese that have not yet flown south, for busy squirrels that leap from tree to tree and for baby animals that will soon take up their winter's sleep.

I am grateful for a warm home, warm socks and soft pillows on which to rest my head. I am grateful for a sound mind and warm heart to lead me through my day. 

I am grateful for family, for friends and for neighbors that give me a foundation for my life. I am grateful for parents who taught me much before they departed from this world, for teachers who guided me along the way and for classmates who helped me find my direction in life.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop and share my day. May your happiness be great as you focus your thoughts on all that is good and just in the world the world today.


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